Sunday, September 5, 2010

...Where the coffee and women are strong.

"Northampton, where the coffee and women are strong."


Saw this on a sign as I was entering the parking garage in town the other day.  I can't speak for the coffee since I'm a Chai drinker, but indeed this is a town for women. Specifically, Noho is to lesbian women as P-Town is to gay men. But it's more than that. This is a town that celebrates women; gay, straight, bi, trans., intellectual, geek, soft, strong, opinionated, outspoken. The strength of the female population is something that you just feel here as I have not felt anywhere else. In some ways the area is quite diverse but in others not so much. It's a college town to the extreme: Two of the Seven Sisters are located in the area—Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. Add UMass Amherst, and two smaller liberal arts colleges—Amherst and Hampshire (collectively called the Five Colleges) and you can just imagine the hubbub come just about now as the students return.  Driving through town is a feast to the eyes. Traffic is slow, pedestrians rule and good luck if you fail to stop for one in a cross walk, someone might just rip your head off. On the other hand I've seen folks wave appreciatively when traffic does stop to allow them to step out into the crosswalk.


This is a town full of character and characters and I am just loving it.  My neighborhood is amazingly friendly, we have been welcomed with open arms.  I'm less than 10 minutes from downtown Noho (do locals actually call it this?), close to the Berkshire hills which will be even more beautiful in a few short weeks with the colors of autumn, 2 hours from Bean Town and the coast. I know I'm in a sort of honeymoon phase and after a time I'll start to see the negatives to temper my enthusiasm. Some of them I see already, but they are like eccentricities that make up a lot of the character of the region.


When we lived among the brown mountains of the soulless Inland Empire region of California I once told my husband "I don't care too much where we settle, it just has to be pretty". Well, we've got pretty and a whole lot more to boot. To finish off this gushing post here are a few words to describe what I see here so far:




Artsy & Musical


Toyota Prius, VW, and Subaru



Speshul Snowflakes








Child Oriented




I do have one complaint though. Above I mentioned that I drink Chai. I'm having a really hard time finding my favorite Tazo Chai concentrate here except at very high prices. Boo-hoo


Melzer said...

May I please move in with you?

dawn said...

Yes, come. We even have a spare room. It can be the new B&B :)

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